Can we give thanks is all circumstances? Paul acknowledges that we are frail vessels of this glorious gospel, and that this ministry of the gospel is fraught with many hardships. Giving thanks in all circumstances is especially difficult while undergoing difficulty. We can give thanks in the midst of all circumstances, because it is meant to enlarge our faith, not as punishment, and because it is redemptive, not random. Paul corrects the irony of the Corinthian’s view of his condition as being so far below their own by reminding them that they share one faith, and as a result, there will be one inheritance. Paul is encouraged in knowing that he will stand, with the Corinthians, before the judgement seat of Christ. From this passage we will see that gratitude is a response to grace, gratitude abounds to the glory of God, and that this abounding response encourages us to not faint in light of the difficulty of this world.
Has your soul ever been troubled? D.M. Lloyd-Jones said, “The greatest need of men and women in this world, is the need for a ‘quiet heart.’” The last incident in the public ministry of Jesus began with the coming of the Greeks, and Jesus’ response to their coming; “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” The implication for the believer was that death is a process by which new glory is attained, as we grow in trust in the perfect, sovereign timing of God. In this sermon we will see that truth as more that a theological concept, but as a great comfort, even to the soul of Jesus, as God confirms the hour of glory has come, and Jesus shows what kind of death He must suffer, as Jesus is fully reveled as the Son of Man.
What does it mean to overcome? In one sense to overcome means to surmount difficulties or obstacles. Jesus has been explaining to His disciples that it is better for Him to depart, and for the Spirit come. This is for our good and for God’s glory, and Jesus seeks to continue to encourage the disciples in this truth. They will suffer in his absence, but he wants them to be reassured. As Jesus gives these final words of encouragement, before breaking into His priestly prayer on their behalf, we will see four things. First, we will see what it means for Jesus to be an overcomer. Second, we will examine what Jesus has overcome. Third, we will ask how has Jesus overcome. Finally, we will see how we can take heart from Christ overcoming.
The comfort for our troubled hearts comes from faith. Jesus establishes that His going is better for those who follow, not only because He goes to prepare a place for them, but also better for them in this life, and better for the ongoing of His kingdom. To those who love God, and keep His commandments, Jesus presents 4 Promises in this passage; The Promise of the Spirit, The Promise of Union with Christ, The Promise of Help, and The Promise of Peace.
As Jesus has carried out His earthly ministry, all things have been building to a climax. Jesus has been revealing more and more about himself, and the result has been a greater dichotomy between the crowd and the religious leadership of the people. As more people have come to believe in Jesus, and many more have begun to follow Him, the opposition from the Jewish establishment has also solidified and increased. We have seen the great turning point, starting in the last chapter. In this passage, we will note; The Coming of the Greeks, Jesus’ Response to the Greeks, The Analogy of Grain and Fruit, and then Two Results, or Applications, as Jesus predicts and proclaims that His glory will come by death, and in the same way the glory of His salvation comes by our identification with Him, through our death to self.
In this passage see a setting and question that provokes Jesus to one of the clearest proclamations of His deity, and of our safety in Him. Therefore, we first learn that the Bible teaches that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are the union of three distinct persons, who eternally exists in one divine essence, one nature and character; each person being fully God and the being of each Person is equal to the whole being of God. Then, we learn that the great doctrine of the perseverance, or eternal security, of the true believer means that those who are truly in Christ can neither totally nor finally fall from a state of grace.
In this Psalm we see a demonstration of the distinction between notional, and experiential knowledge. While intellectual knowledge is necessary, it is not sufficient. We are called to live out the truth in relationship to God, in Christ. To this end, the David shares his personal experience of the goodness of God, and then encourages his readers to partake of God in order to experience his goodness for themselves.
There is something universal in the celebration of mothers, or motherhood. No matter what our life situation may be, or have been, we were all born of a mother. Spiritually, the Bible tells us we are all born of one of two mothers; according to flesh, or according to promise; slave or free. These women are two covenants; Hagar is Mount Sinai, while Sarah is New Jerusalem; works and grace. Understanding this contrasting analogy helps us to think rightly about our relationship to God through Christ.
It can be very difficult when we are confronted with either difficult truth, or difficult circumstances. It is certainly difficult to reconcile the two when are faced with both at the same point in life. Perhaps you are in a place of honest struggle to reconcile what you see with your eyes and what you know to be true. As we look this passage, we find that by looking to Jesus in faith, we can find relief from our struggle, and the joy of the presence of God.
Jesus has now come into Jerusalem, teaching boldly in the Temple. Never shrinking back from proclaiming the truth, He uses Moses to show how the Jews were not keeping the Law, and the Sabbath as an example to demonstrate how they see only the material and are blind to the spiritual. As a result, we will see three distinct responses; the response of faith by many of the people, the response of unbelief by the Pharisees, and the anxious inquiry of the Jews.
John tells us that he writes this gospel so that we might, by faith, come to have the eternal life that is found only in Jesus. In this section, we have been shown that the sustenance of the spiritual life is something other than the sustenance of the physical life. Jesus appeals to the scriptures of the Old Testament, pointing to a new and better covenant. He pictures the contrast by returning to the idea of bread; the bread of Moses was perishing bread, for perishing people, but the Bread of Christ brings eternal life. Eating is believing, and Jesus’s flesh is the bread of eternal life. Upon this idea the Jews not only go from questioning to grumbling, but from grumbling to disputing among themselves; a first indication that their obstacle was not understanding, but believing. Therefore, in this passage, we will find the Disputing Jews, the Flesh of Life, and the Partaking of Flesh.